Schomburg, Arthur A.

Schomburg, Arthur A. (Alonzo)

(1874–1938) scholar; born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Of African descent, he studied in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. He came to New York City in 1891 and worked as a clerk in the Bankers Trust Company. Incensed and inspired by a former teacher's comment that the Negro people had "no history," he formed the division of Negro Literature History and Prints at the Harlem 135th Street Branch Library (1925). At the request of the Urban League, the Carnegie Corporation purchased the collections in 1926; Schomburg remained as curator until his death. His collections form the basis for a comprehensive library of information on African-Americans.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.